Screenshot of the MOE approved dictionary list.
Gone are the days when the thick, hard-copy Chinese dictionary was being used during Paper One of the Chinese Language examination. Life was much easier because there were only a handful of publishers, and hard-copy dictionaries are more or less similar in terms of function and usage. As with all things in life, the advancements in technology has brought about more choices and conveniences, but that also implies more effort and thought needed to be put into choosing the best tool to meet one’s needs.
Currently, old school printed dictionaries are still available and allowed for use during examinations, and I highly encourage students with the means to have one with them during national examinations (you never know when electronic products decide to bail out on your child/ren, right?). Then some may ask, what is the point of electronic dictionaries if printed Chinese dictionaries are still allowed for use during examinations (furthermore, cheaper)? There are many points, but I shall just mention and stop at one: SPEED. During examinations where every second counts, TIME IS MONEY.
At the moment, MOE approved electronic dictionaries only come from 4 publishers, of which there are only 3 brands, namely Besta, HansVision, and ZZ. Well, one may think, how hard can choosing 1 out of merely 3 be? Yet, each of the 3 brands has different models of electronic dictionaries which you can choose from, differing not just in terms of price range but also the functions within and variety of resources provided alongside. However, there is one similarity across all 3 dictionaries, and that is they are all available for purchase at the ever convenient POPULAR Bookstores islandwide! p.s. There is 1 model with special discounts and packages for readers of this article, so read till the end to find out!!
I will do an in-depth and objective analysis for the trending model of each brand in alphabetical order. At the end of the day, it is up to you and/or your child(ren) to decide which is the best tool to support his/her learning and performance. The functions and pricing are correct at the point of publishing, and should you discover any changes or updates, please feel free to contact us for amendments to this article such that it can best serve the interests of everyone concerned.
BESTA ALL PASS S1 ← click to head over to the official product page
Out of all the MOE-approved Besta electronic dictionaries, this is the most expensive model, and rightfully so. This model is basically all the good stuff from previous models combined into one, merging the display screen with the handwriting input screen to allow clearer viewing and writing. For the handwriting input, one can either use the full-screen mode or choose the three-word mode for faster input of more words.
Other than being a helpful tool for use during examinations to help find forgotten words, it is also a tool for learning more about the language, with a specific《学习》portion within. There is information about the punctuation marks, counting words, basic strokes, symbols, hanyu pinyin and word structures. All these are crucial in building a solid foundation for your child/ren’s Chinese language, and thereafter improving his/her/their proficiency.
Besides those mentioned above, there are additional resources embedded within the dictionary, which can aid the user greatly during composition and email writing. Say goodbye to memorising all the 好词好句!!! Now, you only need to know where to find them inside your electronic dictionary. How awesome is that?! There is a《常用题辞》section where 成语 are arranged according to theme, and even《三字经》&《弟子规》where their respective 译文&注释 are included!
HANSVISION PX2201 ← click to head over to the official product page
So far among all the MOE-approved Hansvision electronic dictionaries, this is the game changer and even I myself was surprised that it was approved for national examination usage. Even though it is the most expensive electronic dictionary, the benefits and rewards of owning this dictionary far surpasses its actual cost, because there is inbuilt《名言警句》where students can just copy & paste the quotes provided in their own composition and email writings!!!
Moreover, this electronic dictionary does not only serve as an examination tool, but also doubles as a learning device where students can easily carry it around to learn about 基本笔画、常用部首、常用量词、标点符号、汉字结构、唐诗、宋词、百家姓、亲属称谓、拼音知识! With all the relevant information necessary for mastering Chinese Language in one’s possession, all it takes is effort from the user in order to improve his/her/their proficiency. There are even pictures for the explanation of some nouns provided, in circumstances where using Chinese words to explain another Chinese word does not benefit those who are weaker in the language.
Once again, let me emphasize on the《名言警句》(aka quotes by famous people), as it is especially useful when writing 议论文 should students wish to use 引用论证. Instead of spending all the time and effort memorising a thousand and one quotes from all over across different topics, students only need to familiarise themselves with whatever is provided within their electronic dictionary so that they can promptly make references when necessary during the examination. There are also《三字经》&《弟子规》sections with 白话文 provided for students to simply quote and use in their writings!!!
ZZ.NEW-A+ (neither their official website nor email address works, but there is the Facebook Page ZZ Perfection Pte Ltd if really want to check it out)
The size of this dictionary is what stands out most, with it being the smallest and most compact one, looking like one of those old-school GPS systems that you put inside your car. As a result, the display screen and space for handwriting input is limited. On the other hand, if you are interested in something that does not add much more weight onto your child/ren’s already heavy school bag, then this is the one you are looking for. For the “cross search” function, press hard on the word in question and one will get the hanyu pinyin, followed by the meaning of the word on the second press.
There is a section《作文辅导》that contains resources helpful for email and composition writing. First is the《中华成语》where one can find idioms with the full hanyu pinyin, along with a sample sentence as well as the origin of the idiom. Next, there is the 《谚语》section where there are proverbs arranged in alphabetical order, with respective sample sentence provided. Lastly, the《千字文》would allow your child/ren to quote and support their points, with hanyu pinyin given as well. For any of the words your child/ren are unsure of, feel free to plug in an earpiece to listen instead.
After so much sharing, here comes a comparison table that everyone loves because, TLDR right? No need to mention, we are more than happy to do anything that would aid your decision making!!!
As per stated above, 1 of the 3 models is more economical for you, meaning more value for money (not necessarily cheaper in terms of price). And that model is… *drumroll please* HANSVISION PX2201!!! For the nearly 2000 quotes inside the dictionary, there is now an English guidebook with all the translations (saving your child/ren more than 1000 man hours) for understanding, which only costs SGD55. And when you get it together with the electronic dictionary (SGD89) from us, there is a 15% discount! On top of that, by simply leaving us a 100-word comment, you also get a free keyboard shortcut table (helping your child/ren save time during the examination) worth SGD9, amounting to a 20% discount in total!!! All thanks to bundle discounts, yeah!
p.s. For graduating students who do not have siblings/relatives to pass the electronic dictionary down to or simply do not wish to go through the hassle of selling it to second-hand buyers, there is an amazing offer that you cannot get anywhere else if you pass down the dictionary through us! If interested, do reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you maximise your dollar.